Lofty Water Verdant Bow


Reviewed by: lizzyd

May 22, 2009

Rating: three-point-five

Main Characters:

Raymond Lam - Gam Sai Wai
Michelle Yip - Lai Shing Nam
Rain Li - Kuk Chi Wah
Mimi Lo - Lee Sum Mui
Power Chan - Kong Nam
Eddie Ko - Mang San Tung
Felix Lok - Duk Long Juen Tse
Fiona Yuen - Cho Min Yee

Summary

After the death of his master, Raymond leaves the island he grew up on to find a cure (he’s been poisoned) and figure out who killed his master. Along the way, he meets and gets caught up in a love triangle with Rain and Michelle. Of course there are also other adventures and dangers along the way.

Characters & Actors

Gam Sai Wai/Raymond Lam – Naïve, inexperienced, and slightly clueless but also brave, honorable, and skilled at martial arts. Due to his lack of worldly experience, Gam Sai Wai often found himself in situations where he had to be the hero, albeit reluctantly and unintentionally. This came naturally to him because of his inherent sense of honor and ethics. Romantic decisions were a lot more difficult for him. Halfway through the series, he had no idea the two women loved him.

This role didn’t seem terribly difficult for Raymond. He looks cute and plays the clueless hero well. I like him in martial arts series a lot. The style and mannerisms suit him and he carries himself well. His co-stars let him down in this one, particularly Rain. There was no chemistry and it was plain awkward. He was a bit better with Michelle, but there was something off about her (more later).

Lai Shing Nam/Michelle Yip - Beautiful, strong, and intelligent/cunning. Trained to be a cold-hearted assassin, she was good at what she did because she had no weaknesses - until she met Gam Sai Wai. As she said to her childhood friend/fellow assassin right before she killed him, “No one is allowed to hurt Gam Sai Wai.” She was assigned to kill him multiple times but was unable to do so. The trauma of her childhood taught her to be tough, manipulative, and selfish. Once she decided she wanted Gam Sai Wai, she did whatever it took to keep him, without regard for his wants and needs. In my opinion, her death was not the ultimate act of sacrifice so much as a final, selfish bid to get what she wanted so desperately. If she had not died, would Gam Sai Wai have chosen her?

Her hair, make-up, and costumes were lovely. The role was an interesting one with a lot of potential. It took me a long time to figure out what my problem with her is. She’s attractive and unfortunately she knows this. She’s very aware of the camera and a selfish actress. By this, I mean that she can emote but she only does it towards the camera. She is fine when the camera focuses on her, but in scenes with other people, there’s an odd disconnect. My biggest issue with her in this series is the VOICE! I think it’s supposed to be cutesy but it came off as a grating drone that was distracting and unpleasant. She didn’t talk like that in Eternal Happiness so I know that’s not her natural voice.

Kuk Chi Wah/Rain Li – Pretty, kind-hearted, and weak-willed. She is a passive person who is used to doing what she is told. She hands over the leader position of her sect because her See Jeh tells her to, gives up Gam Sai Wai without a fight even though she loves him, and she forgives her father despite his evil ways.

This is the first and only role I’ve ever seen Rain in (thank goodness). She was truly awful. I think my coffee table has expressed more emotion than I saw on her face in all 20 episodes. Acting-wise she is stiff as a board, speaks in a monotone, and is painful to watch. She scrunches up her forehead a lot, which I think is supposed to indicate emotion. She is a model - I hope she looks better in photos than on tv because she is an odd-looking girl. She is also clunky and ungraceful. In a scene where she hugged Raymond, I actually cringed because not only was it unromantic, it looked physically uncomfortable.

Others

The other characters were pretty typical. Power Chan played the humorous side-kick and Mimi Lo the spoiled and headstrong rich girl. They played their parts well and were adequate comic relief. The villains were pretty typical too - evil, manipulative, and ambitious. There wasn’t much back story for either.

General/Plot

The plot was not bad but they could have moved the story along a little faster. There wasn’t a single real fight sequence in the series. They used special effects and not very well. If all you have to do is toss your sword out and have it spin and kill people, what’s the point of learning all the different stances/steps? Also, the love story was tossed in for the last 6 episodes, really rushed.

Love Story
Both girls fell in love with Raymond early on, but I’m not sure why. He had no idea the girls were in love with him, even when they threw tantrums (mainly Michelle) over him. He didn’t seem interested in either until episode 14, when he abruptly started to show signs of liking Rain. Are we supposed to believe that he loved Rain more through the series, but at the end, he was so touched (guilt-ridden) by Michelle’s death that he chose to take her remains back to the island? Or was he just undecided throughout the series and Michelle, the most proactive of the three, forced him to make a choice? I think the latter, even though a lot of people seem to believe this is an epic Raymond + Michelle love story. Throughout the series, he never told either one that he liked/preferred her. He promised Rain he would spend every New Year with her and he promised Michelle he’d be by her side during all of her birthdays. When he was with Michelle, he missed Rain and when he was with Rain, he thought about Michelle. I really don’t like love stories of this type. I want to know that the hero is single-hearted and true. That’s not to say he is allowed only ONE love for the entire series, but just one at a time please. The writing/directing throughout depicted Raymond wavering so much that no matter whom he chose at the end, I would doubt his sincerity. Plus, Rain was such a bad actress and had so little chemistry with Raymond that it was hard to see why he would want her.


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Lofty Water Verdant Bow

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